Let’s try diplomacy without preconditions

None of this makes any sense:

In an attempt to advance peace talks based on the Arab League’s peace initiative, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni is scheduled to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo on Thursday…

The plan calls for Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders, Israel’s acceptance of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem in return for the establishment of normal relations with the Arab world in the context of a comprehensive peace.

Israel on its part, plans to participate in talks on the plan, but will insist on avoiding the initiative’s main topics, namely the Palestinian refugees’ right of return, retreating to the 1967 borders and dividing Jerusalem. — YNet (5/9/2007)

How can Israel ‘participate’ when it can’t accept any of the plan’s provisions? In fact, Livni herself said:

It’s impossible for Israel to accept the Arab peace initiative in its current version, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told Palestinian newspaper al-Ayyam in an interview…

The foreign minister said that the current version of the initiative was primarily problematic due to its references to the right of return. — YNet (3/1/2007)

And the Arabs, including Mubarak, have said that they are not interested in changing anything about the plan:

Mubarak’s spokesman Suleiman Awwad said Egypt also [with Saudi Arabia and Syria — ed.] rejects the Israeli demands for amending the plan. ”Israel cannot pick and choose from the initiative and then jump into establishing normal relations with Arabs,” Awwad said. ”The Arab plan offers full withdrawal for full peace.” — YNet (3/14/2007)

It seems to me that nothing can be accomplished by Israeli ‘participation’ in this, except that Israel can be made to appear intransigent.

About a month ago PM Olmert proposed a summit between Israel and the Arab states with no preconditions. Let’s put the shoe on the other foot: if the Arabs really want peace they should be prepared to talk about it, instead of simply demanding Israel’s signature on their document of surrender.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.